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Competition BBQ *On Topic Only* Discussion regarding all aspects of Competition BBQ. Experiences competing or visiting, questions, getting started, Equipment, announcements of events, Results, Reviews, Planning, etc. Questions here will be responded to with competition BBQ in mind.


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Unread 09-21-2010, 05:04 PM   #1
chuckd83
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Default Planning cooking times for competitions

I'm doing my first competition in a few weeks and need advice on planning cooking times. I always estimate brisket by 1 hr per pound and then cook by temperature since every piece of meat is different. If it takes longer, no big deal, we just eat later. But obviously I'm not afforded that luxury given turn-in times. So I was thinking 1 1/2 hrs per pound to be sure to have enough time, but then I didn't want it to sit in the cooler for 5 hours if it's done quicker. So I was thinking:

brisket - 1hr 20min per pound
pork spare ribs - 5 1/2 hrs
chicken half - 1 1/2 hr

Thoughts?
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Unread 09-21-2010, 05:18 PM   #2
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My best advice is to do a full practice cook and record everything. That will help you figure out your timing and help fine tune your equipment list.
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Unread 09-21-2010, 05:24 PM   #3
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Is it an IBCA or a Texas Gulf Coast event?

If your brisket is done a few hour ahead that's great. Then you can let it rest wrapped up in a cooler until turn in time.

5 1/2 for ribs might be ok depending how and at what temp you're cooking them.

1 1/2 for chicken? It's too long for grilling and not long enough for smoking. How are you cooking your meat?

Like Ron suggested, do a full practice cook while you time the whole thing. Have your chicken ready at 12:00pm ribs at 1:30pm and brisket at 3:00pm. That is probably close to what your turn in times will be. Keep notes and adjust from there. Good luck and have fun.

What cook off is it?
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Unread 09-21-2010, 05:26 PM   #4
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Going along with what Ron said is you may learn your times may change with the quantity and timing of a full comp load.Better to be done early and resting in a cambro or a cooler then not getting done.
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Unread 09-21-2010, 07:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuckd83 View Post
...but then I didn't want it to sit in the cooler for 5 hours if it's done quicker.
That really won't hurt anything if it's a high quality cooler.
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Unread 09-21-2010, 07:52 PM   #6
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While resting brisket is fine resting ribs and chicken is not such a great idea. Both chicken and ribs need to come off the smoker and go right in the turn containers. That's why timing is critical at a comp.
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Unread 09-21-2010, 08:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZILLA View Post
While resting brisket is fine resting ribs and chicken is not such a great idea. Both chicken and ribs need to come off the smoker and go right in the turn containers. That's why timing is critical at a comp.
ribs can be rested.
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Unread 09-21-2010, 08:20 PM   #8
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Meat wise, yes of course they can be rested. However, if saucing ribs when cooking comp in Texas the sauce has to be cooked on. Resting them would not do the finished product any favors in appearance. The beautiful glaze would suffer. I guess dry ribs wouldn't matter.
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Unread 09-21-2010, 09:27 PM   #9
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Also weather could be an issue... wind and rain will or could (depending on your equipment) cause all sorts of extra "fun"... It is nice to have some extra time built in... So I agree with all of those that getting done a little early is ok.
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Unread 09-21-2010, 09:38 PM   #10
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I couldnt agree with Ron L and Coz more. Had I done that last weekend on the new pit I may have gotten a call. Practice ahead of time!!!
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Unread 09-21-2010, 10:06 PM   #11
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Times vary depending upon pits, weight of meat, weather and pitmasters perspective of what's good to them and there liking. To many variables for me to put a specific time on a category. I'd run a practice cook to get some times down on paper.
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Unread 09-21-2010, 10:17 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sledneck View Post
ribs can be rested.
Aye, Sledneck is right. Just glaze the ribs AFTER resting just before turn ins. Normally the brisket and pork are the harder ones to "hurry up", so planning for an early finish on those isn't a bad idea.
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Unread 09-21-2010, 10:18 PM   #13
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Practice is best so you know how much time you need. Really depends on cook temp to determine time. We cook hot (350-400) and finish briskets in 4 1/2 hours for a packer and 3 1/2 - 4 for a flat. When we used to cook slow we would fire up the smoker around 11:00pm and get it up to 225-240 and start the butts and briskets at 12:00am we'd plan for 5 hours on the ribs and 2 1/2 - 3 hours for chicken. One thing that has helped us once we had our times down was to allot for building the boxes, not the parsley portion which we do friday night, but what pieces of meat we want to use, doctoring time and putting the meat in the box. I like to have the butts and brisket resting for 1 1/2 -2 hours before turn in and the Ribs and chicken off the smoker 15 prior to turn in.

Good luck and most of all HAVE FUN!
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Unread 09-22-2010, 07:55 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBQ View Post
Aye, Sledneck is right. Just glaze the ribs AFTER resting just before turn ins. Normally the brisket and pork are the harder ones to "hurry up", so planning for an early finish on those isn't a bad idea.
Funny that you all fall into the KCBScentric mode time after time. There is nothing else, I forgot, Sorry.....Folks Chuck d83 is from Houston, Yes I'm guessing here but, he is probably cooking a Texas event. You cannot sauce after you pull the meat from the smoker. The sauce must be cooked on. He would be disqualified if he took your advice CBQ.
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Unread 09-22-2010, 07:58 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZILLA View Post
Is it an IBCA or a Texas Gulf Coast event?

If your brisket is done a few hour ahead that's great. Then you can let it rest wrapped up in a cooler until turn in time.

5 1/2 for ribs might be ok depending how and at what temp you're cooking them.

1 1/2 for chicken? It's too long for grilling and not long enough for smoking. How are you cooking your meat?

Like Ron suggested, do a full practice cook while you time the whole thing. Have your chicken ready at 12:00pm ribs at 1:30pm and brisket at 3:00pm. That is probably close to what your turn in times will be. Keep notes and adjust from there. Good luck and have fun.

What cook off is it?
Thanks everybody for the advice. I'm definitely busy on the weekends until then so I won't be able to do a trial run. It's the Harris County Fair BBQ (TGCBCA) on Oct. 16.

I said 1 1/2 for chicken because I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do for that. The pit will have to stay at 225-250 until the brisket turn-in at 4p so I won't be able to increase the heat for the chicken (turn-in at 12p). Maybe smoke it and then stick it on top of the fire box for a few minutes to crisp up the skin?
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